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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Its Mame-o-licious

My Namco Exceleena Blue cab has gone through several major changes over the years. When I first got it, I completely gutted the insides, replaced the monitor, converting it into a 31khz Dreamcast machine (poor man's Naomi GD system). About a year ago I restored it back to Jamma compatible, and bought an MGCD and JPAC so I could play all three: Jamma, Consoles, and Mame/PC games. I never paid much attention to Mame though, since it didn't match up to the real PCBs I already own, except for the fact that you can practice using savestates. But recently, I started playing more hidden jems that were either hard to track down the PCB, or not worth adding to my already bloated collection. Thats when I decided to get more serious about my mame setup.

So I updated the cab once more, before the last shmupmeet. Its still Jamma compatible (and console compatible via MGCD), but is now running Windows XP with the Mala front end. Mala not only supports vertical displays, but it also has a plug-in architecture allowing other developers to write add-ons, like this cool Serial LED display plug-in. And it just so happens that I had a Beta Brite LED sign that I knew would come in handy some day. :-)

5 comments:

  1. That cab was amazing! I was always wondering how you were able to get those LED lights to synchronize with whatever games you were playing. That was a very nice touch. Plus, I didn't know that particular cab went through so many modifications.

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  2. If you'd like to read/see the story of what happened when I first got this cab, checkout this post back in 2004. http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,28845.0.html

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  3. Fred (arcade-fever)10/26/2007 7:28 PM

    Very nice cab !!! this is so cool to have a led display like that !!!

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  4. I have a question for you (hope you get this comment considering it is an older post, but if not, I'll try sending you a PM on the BYOAC or SHMUPS forum). Anyways, I have a New Astro City with an MGCD installed. Works like a dream, but now as I'm trying to move my jpac from another cab (a Tecmo? Kyotaro... don't see them around too often) I'm having problems getting the player one button to work. I assume it has to do with the rerouting of the ground wires on 27 and 28. I'm pretty sure I have them routed correctly back to one 1 and 2, but the button still won't work(and it's obviously a critical button) Just wondering if you had any problem switching between the two.

    Also, do you have to adjust the monitor settings every time you switch between the MGCD and the MAME PC? I know it's a different cab you're working on, but I was just wondering.

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  5. I haven't seen this problem, but then again I made a jamma edge connector adapter so I wouldn't have to modify my jamma loom wiring. Basically I used a 52-pin edge connector with a jamma fingerboard with all but those last 4 ground pins connected (I don't use this to play fighters anyway). So when I plug in my JPAC its just working off the normal jamma loop with no problem. I will be writing a short article about my MGCD mods on insomnia.ac in the near future. To troubleshoot your problem, just double check your jamma loom wiring is proper with a multimeter on continuity test (you never know someone could have modded it before you got the cab!). I believe the MCD uses the last 4 (not just two) ground pins for extra buttons. If any of these buttons are connect to ground when you power the MGCD, you will get various flakey problems.

    As for the monitor question, I only see a brightness problem if I'm switching between RGB directly from a computer (or directly from a console). The MGCD has a video amp built in (if you don't mind the timer on the screen) and the JPAC also has a video amp. If you are using a JPAC on a tri-sync monitor at 31khz you will always see a darker picture if you have scanlines enabled in mame.

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